The surname of SHORT was derived from the Old English word 'sceort' a nickname given to one of small stature. Nicknames usually originated as a by-name for someone by describing their appearance, personal disposition or character but which became handed down through the ages and did not apply to their descendants. The name is also spelt SHORTMAN, SHORTT and SHORTER. Early records of the name mention Ordric Scort who was recorded in the year 1176 in County Dorset and Richard le Sorte was documented in the year 1200 in County Somerset. Edwin Short was recorded in County Somerset during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) and Johannes Short of Yorkshire, was listed in the Yorkshire Poll Tax of 1379. Surnames as we know them today were first assumed in Europe from the 11th to the 15th Century. They were not in use in England or in Scotland before the Norman Conquest, and were first found in the Domesday Book. The employment in the use of a second name was a custom that was first introduced from the Normans. They themselves had not long before adopted them. It became, in course of time, a mark of gentler blood, and it was deemed a disgrace for gentlemen to have but one single name, as the meaner sort had. It was not until the reign of Edward II (1307-1327) it became general practice amongst all people. Later instances of the name include Alan Short of Ashton, County Lancashire who was recorded in the Wills at Chester in 1672. John Short and Jane Bishop were married at St. George's, Hanover Square, London in the year 1771. The name was taken to Ireland by settlers from Scotland and England, whose descendants are now found in Leinster and Ulster. The name is rendered in Gaelic as Mac an Ghirr. At first the coat of arms was a practical matter which served a function on the battlefield and in tournaments. With his helmet covering his face, and armour encasing the knight from head to foot, the only means of identification for his followers, was the insignia painted on his shield and embroidered on his surcoat, the flowing and draped garment worn over the armour. The associated arms are recorded in Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory. Ulster King of Arms in 1884.
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